an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century


Brett Underwood


The sidewalks say, “This is the city.”
The sidewalks say you aren’t there yet.
They say your car is around the corner.
The sidewalks say, “Your feet hurt.”
They say you’re tired.
The sidewalks say you could use some grass.
They say, “Crack, crack, crack, crack.”

The sidewalks say there are better things than asphalt.
They say, “One step at a time…”
The sidewalks tell you to pick up your feet
They say, “Your shoelaces have seen better days.”
The sidewalks say that these worms won’t survive this heat.
They say the ants are hard at work.

The sidewalks say, “Pick it up!”
They say this is the structure.
The sidewalks say that these roots are powerful.
The sidewalks say birds shit, dogs shit, mud and hair weaves.
They say, “This is what used to be called a dime bag.
The sidewalks say, “You’re trippin’.”
They say, “Crack, crack, crack, crack.”

The sidewalks say you should talk a walk.
They say “Hear the secrets,”
The sidewalks say these buildings have basements.
They say, “These buildings have weaknesses.”
The sidewalks say you want to know.
They say, “Fuck television. Fuck cellphones. Fuck it. Fuck it.”

The sidewalks say there is blood in the streets.
They say there is blood in the soil.
The sidewalks say, “There is injustice”
They say the guy at the corner store knows.
The sidewalk knows the truth.
The sidewalks says, “Wait”.

The sidewalks say that you don’t know the truth.
They say you don’t want to.
The sidewalk is mocking you.
The sidewalk says, “Go home and watch the footage.”
The sidewalk has the dirt.

The sidewalks are a cover.
The sidewalks say, “I will bring you to a place of forgiveness.”
They say that they know your hunger.
They say the longing is only a symptom.
They say that you can overcome this.
The sidewalks say, “Crack. Crack. Crack. Crack.”

The sidewalks say you could do better.
They say, “You missed the bus.”
The sidewalks say you will be better.
They say you are loved.
They say, “Fuck that asshole.”
They say there is always tomorrow.
They say there is nothing more than this.

The sidewalks say that the leaves hide your shadow.
The sidewalks say, “Look at the eclipse.”
They say you are not everything.
They say there is no apocalypse.
They say you are you.
They say, “Crack. Crack. Crack. Crack.”

The sidewalks say there is something lurking.
They say you never know.
The sidewalks say the meter’s running.
They say your luck is up.
They say, “Follow the money.”
They say, “Crack. Crack. Crack. Crack.”

The sidewalks say there is no use in running.
The sidewalks say, “Fight inside the belly of the beast.”
They say, “You got this.”
They say, “You know the truth.”
They say, “These buildings are going to fall.”
They say that this too will pass.
They say that you are overthinking it.
They say you’re trippin’.
They say, “I’m harder than you.”
They say, “I’m better than the streets.”
They say, “Crack. Crack. Crack. Crack.

The sidewalks say that this is philosophy.
They say that they will bring friends.
They say that they will discover enemies.
They say they will bring you promise.
They say, “Go to the park.”
They say, “It’s not worth it.”
They say, “God is strange.”
They say, “Did you see that shit!”
They say, “Crack. Crack Crack Crack”.

BRETT LARS UNDERWOOD is a St. Louis writer, bartender and promoter of happenings and mishaps. He is the author of MUSH (Spartan Press, 2018) and MUSHARONA (Kung Fu Treachery Press)